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Looking for a few ideas for Scotland

Old Apr 16th, 2004, 07:08 AM
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Looking for a few ideas for Scotland

Hi! I'm planning a trip to Scotland in May and am looking for a few good ideas. We'll be flying from London into Edinburgh and plan to spend 2 days & nights there (already have reservations). From there we plan to take the train to Inverness and rent a car. We'll have 3 days before flying back to London from Inverness. We thought we'd stay in Inverness the first night and do the Loch Ness area, and then explore from there. Also, any good recommendations on B&Bs in the area? Thanks!
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Old Apr 16th, 2004, 08:18 AM
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Skye is a great place to visit. The B&B we stayed at was nothing spectacular, I have even forgotten it's name. In Kylesku we stayed at the The Newton Lodge, a nice place to stay and has a great restaurant. Enjoy your trip to Scotland.

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Old Apr 16th, 2004, 09:14 AM
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Since you're going to be up around Inverness and therefore near the Spey River, you'll be in the foremost area of the world for single malt scotch. You can take the Whiskey Trail tour which I think takes off from around Dufftown. Drive over to Nairn and head South on the 941
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Old Apr 16th, 2004, 12:37 PM
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The scottish experts can provide you with some excellent ideas; however, I would suggest the following:

Culloden Battlefield & the Clava Cairns
Cawdor Castle
Elgin Cathedral in Elgin and nearby Pluscarden Abbey
You could also drive to Skye

Have seen very good reviews for the White Heather B&B on Skye www.whiteheather.co.uk
There is a plethora of B&B's in and near Inverness. Try the Ivybank Guest House www.ivybankguesthouse.com or the Felstead Guest House www.jafsoft.com/felstead/felstead.html.


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Old Apr 16th, 2004, 03:35 PM
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Inverness itself isn't much to write home about. I would not stay the night IN I'ness. You only have 3 days total to see some of the best secenery in the world. Don't waste any of it in a commercial center like Inverness. You could stay 1 night outside I'ness like east near Culloden or west near Muir of Ord/Beauly. Visit Culloden, maybe the Black Isle, Ft George, a castle or 2, whisky distillery - what ever interests you. Then head to Skye. You can see Urquhart castle and Loch Ness (not the prettiest Scottish loch for sure) enroute. You can actually do Skye as a daytrip from near Inverness - but staying overnight would of course be better if you can.

Then head north and stay a night near Ullapool or Gairloch. The area is glorious and the amazing Inverewe Gardens should not be missed. From there it is 50 or 60 miles back to Inverness to catch your flight.

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Old Apr 16th, 2004, 07:02 PM
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Thanks everyone, these are great suggestions. Now I can work on the rest of our itinerary. Glad to know that Inverness isn't worth the time, with so many other great places to see. I'd much prefer to see the countryside instead of staying in the city. Wanted to get all the way up to John O'groats and the Orkney Islands, but it doesn't sound like I'll have time on this trip.
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Old Apr 16th, 2004, 10:26 PM
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allybeth, there's a company based in Inverness (Puffin, I think) who do day trips to Orkney. It's a long day but a few people have posted on here that they've done it, and really enjoyed it.

I think your general plan is fine. History Traveller's suggestions for the east are good. I only recently visited Clava Cairns myself for the first time and it's a stupendous site- a bit like Temple Wood in Kilmartin. If you go to Clava also see Sueno's Stone at Forres.

If you do the Orkney thing,and stayed, maybe, north of Inverness- Beauly would be good- you could have a day in Moray and Nairn, a day in Skye and a day in Orkney.

That might work quite well?
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Old Apr 17th, 2004, 04:09 AM
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After alighting from the Edinburgh train in Inverness there is usually a connecting service to Kyle of Lochalsh (across the channel from Skye)Consider staying at Plockton (station just before Kyle)rather than Inverness.
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Old Apr 18th, 2004, 06:48 AM
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Janis is correct in what she says about Inverness. The visit to Poolewe and Inverewe gardens is certainly worth while, even if you are not a gardener.
Remember that travelling on the roads up there is time consuming. They are narrow, often one track, and you frequently have to stop or slow down for sheep. The trip to Inverewe will take most of a day. Take lots of money. The U.K. is not a cheap place.For example, gas(petrol in the U.K.)is about $4.30 US for a US gallon i.e. 0.75pence a litre. You do have smaller cars there, but in the north of Scotland, because of the number of times you have to change gear, gas consumption is not much better than in North America for a small car. Good luck. Hope the weather is cooperative.
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Old Apr 18th, 2004, 08:46 AM
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Have a look at www.bestbandb.co.uk. The site lists 58 bed and breakfast establishments for Scotland of which 5 are fairly close to Inverness. You didn't say what time you are travelling from Edinburgh, but if you want extra comfort may I suggest you try and use "The Highland Chieftain", which departs Edinburgh at 16:33 arriving Inverness at 20:07. This is the only service run by GNER (Great North Eastern Railway) from London to Inverness via Edinburgh. All other services are run by Scotrail and their trains are not as comfortable. Welcome to Britain - the exchange rate is starting to move slowly in your favour!
 
Old Apr 20th, 2004, 08:19 AM
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Hi All - thanks so much for the great suggestions. There's so much to see & do it's a little overwhelming. I'm wishing we had more time in Scotland, but our trip is starting with a week in London and we'll only have 5 days for Scotland. Here's a draft itinerary and a few additional questions:

Arriving in Edinburgh @ 10:00 a.m. on Saturday morning (May 22). We'll be in Edinburgh until Monday and are staying at the Beresford Hotel (any reviews on this hotel? We had trouble finding availability that weekend, so I hope it's ok).

Leaving Edinburgh Monday and taking the train to Inverness. We haven't finalized the plan yet, but I'm guessing we'll want to take an early morning train.

Picking up a rental car in Inverness and spending Monday in/around the Loch Ness area - Culloden Moor, Clava Cairns, Uruhart Castle and then staying Monday night in Drumnadrochit. One of my travelling companions who currently lives in London has heard of a good B&B there, but I don't know the name. Any suggestions?

Tuesday morning head down to Glencoe. Any must see's or do's in the Glencoe area? The Scorry Breac guest house in Glencoe has been recommended, but I'd love to hear if anyone has stayed there.

Wednesday morning travel the Road to the Isles and take the ferry over to Skye. We'd like to spend the night on Skye, but how long of a drive is it back to Inverness? Would we be able to make it back to Inverness to catch a 1:30 flight on Thursday?

Thanks again for the help. I've learned one thing - I'll definitely need to plan a second trip to Scotland!

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Old Apr 20th, 2004, 11:06 AM
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OK - a couple of comments. You want to see a lot but are only going a few miles betweenn your B&Bs in Drumnadrochit and Glencoe.

it is less than 50 miles from one to the other. If you really want to spend a night on Skye, I'd drive down to Glencoe, wander around the site, maybe have lunch at then Clachaig Inn, and then drive over to Mallaig and catch the ferry to Skye.

Driving from Drumnadrochit to Skye would give you PLENTY of time to see Glencoe, Glenfinnan and even part of Skye that day. Then the next day see more of Skye and then take the bridge to Kyle of Lochalsh and back to Inverness.
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Old Apr 21st, 2004, 07:47 AM
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Janis - you're right (of course!) I didn't realize how close together these places are. After spending the 1st night in Drumnadrochit, I think we can skip spending the night in Glencoe and head on over to Skye for the 2nd night (seeing the sights and stopping in Glencoe on the way). After spending part of the 3rd day on Skye, we can head back over the bridge and maybe stay near Eilean Donan Castle (any B&B suggestions there?) Then the morning of the 4th day we can head back to Inverness to catch our flight to London. I think we'll get to see more this way.

The B&B we're considering in Drumnadrochit is the Kilmore Farmhouse - any reviews would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Apr 21st, 2004, 07:25 PM
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I stayed at Tir Alainn on Skye while I was there (means Beautiful Country in Gaelic). The host was delightful, the view was breathtaking, and the accomodations clean, neat, and comfortable -- for £40 a night... good stuff!
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Old Apr 21st, 2004, 08:44 PM
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Scotland is one of my favorite places. Wherever you end up, you will have a wonderful trip. Makes me a bit Scotland sick to read about your trip. I normally home exchange, so most of the time I do not pay for accomodations.

Oh, to be in Edinburgh in August for the festivals!
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Old May 6th, 2004, 07:47 AM
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ttt .... Just wondering if anyone had comments on allybeth's request for info on the Kilmore Farmhouse in Drumnadrochit?
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Old May 13th, 2004, 07:07 AM
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Hi All - well, I'm off on my adventure tomorrow night. One week in London and one week in Scotland - my first trip to both places and I can't wait. Thanks to everyone for your great Scotland suggestions. The final decision - 2 days/nights in Edinburgh, then up to Inverness, pick up the rental car, then onto Loch Ness, down to Glencoe, over to Skye and back to Inverness for our flight back to London. We have some definite ideas now about what to see & do, but will go where the road takes us and see as much as possible.

I picked up some great ideas for London also by reading everyone's threads. With 7 days in London, we should be able to fit in a lot of activities. We've got tickets to the Ceremony of the Keys and the Big Ben Clock Tower tour (thanks samejia!).

One last thing - I'm looking for a couple of restaurant suggestions. I'm sure I've seen some on other chats, but I can't find them now. We have theatre tickets Monday night (7:30) at the Piccadilly theatre - any dinner suggestions before or after? Also, what about restaurants near the Tower of London for dinner before the Ceremony of the Keys? Not looking for anything fancy - mostly casual and moderately priced.

Thanks again everyone. I'll let you know how the trip goes!
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